Fewer in-patient stays and more day treatment in general hospitals
pasient, Patient statistics, health regions, health enterprises, diagnoses, illnesses, bed days, admissions, polyclinic consultations, doctor's visits, day treatmentHealth services , Health

Patient statistics2009



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Fewer in-patient stays and more day treatment in general hospitals

The number of hospital stays has been increasing in the last 10 years, but there was a drop in stays in 2007 and again in 2009. The figures show a reduction from 2008 to 2009 of about 10 000 stays. The average length of an in-patient stay in 2000 was 6.0 days. In 2009 the average stay was 4.6 days. The scope of day treatments is increasing. There were approximately 25 000 more day treatments in 2009 compared to the number in 2008. Private commercial hospitals have had the largest drop in in-patient stays in 2009; a decrease of 18 per cent compared to the previous year. The number of day treatments in the same hospitals increased by almost 30 per cent in the same period.

There has been little change in the distribution of main diagnoses as the cause for admission to hospital compared to last year (2008). However, there is a small decrease in stays due to the treatment of eye diseases. The number of in-patient hospital stays due to eye diseases fell from 6 800 to 4 900 stays. More cases were treated as day treatment.

Out-patient consultations

All in all, 4.2 million out-patient consultations were registered in publicly-financed general hospitals in Norway in 2009. Due to a change in the practice of registration in the Norwegian Patient Register, this figure is not comparable with figures for consultations that are published in the official statistics for earlier years.

About the statistical material

The patient statistics from Statistics Norway are based on data from the Norwegian Patient Register (NPR), Norwegian Directorate of Health. The population for the patient statistics in Statistics Norway covers the activity in general hospitals according to the definition in the Register of Business Enterprises. This definition deviates somewhat from the population that NPR uses in their statistics, which covers institutions with activity-based financing.

A main diagnosis is given to a condition that is the primary reason for an examination or treatment given in hospital. If a patient has more than one condition, the most resource-demanding diagnosis is registered. The patient statistics are based on the international classification of diseases ICD-10.

Patients treated in Norway, but living abroad, are included in the patient statistics. Patients without a valid municipality number are also included in the statistics. However, this group is not included in tables with figures for diagnoses. These tables show distributions of causes for treatments in hospitals for the population living in Norway. There were 4 525 hospital stays and 525 day treatments of people living abroad or persons without a valid municipality number in Norwegian hospitals in 2009.

In contrast to earlier years the statistics for 2009 also cover healthy new-borns. This gives an increase of 47 496 hospital stays and 11 day treatments in the figures for 2009 compared with figures published for earlier years.

Statistics on accounts, hospital beds and personnel in general hospitals will be published by Statistics Norway together with figures for specialist health services on 18 June 2010.

Change in the statistical unit

A change in the health register law in 2008 paved the way for making the Norwegian Patient Register personal identity number based. Consequently, it will be possible to produce statistics with the person as a unit in the statistics in addition to hospital stays. The figures for stays and treatments will be related to persons via their personal identity number. The statistical basis is, however, still in a development phase and data quality issues have to be considered. The data coverage is still not considered sufficient to publish figures for 2009. Preliminary figures from the Norwegian Patient register (16 April 2010) show the following coverage for different stays or consultations in general hospitals based on the personal identity number of patients for 2008 and 2009 respectively:

Type of stay/consultation                           2008       2009

In-patient stay                                               93.4       87.2

Day treatment                                               96.8       88.6

Out-patient consultation                                 97.7       92.2

Total                                                             96.9       91.1

Source: Directorate of Health, Norwegian Patient Register.

Data from general hospitals is continuously being reported to the Norwegian Patient Register. Statistics Norway will publish patient statistics based on the person as a unit when the data for 2009 is more complete and the coverage reaches the 2008 level, i.e. later in 2010.